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In The Suicide of Reason: Radical Islam’s Threat to the West, Lee Harris delivers a daring argument about the inherent conflict between Western civilization and Islamic fanaticism. Radical Islam, he argues, is not a social pathology or “failure to modernize,” but rather a robust, internally consistent social order. It is resistant to conventional Western methods of conflict resolution such as negotiation, economic sanctions, and conventional armed confrontation. Indeed, the Western devotion to reason, by which the Enlightenment overcame religious fanaticism in an earlier epoch, may become self-defeating in the current struggle. Can liberal internationalism devise new strategies to defend itself without becoming a mirror of the forces it seeks to defeat?
At this book forum, Mr. Harris will summarize the argument of his book, followed by commentary from AEI resident fellow Ayaan Hirsi Ali and AEI president Christopher DeMuth. Mr. Harris is the author of Civilization and Its Enemies: The Next Stage of History, and he is a frequent contributor to Policy Review, OpinionJournal, and other publications.